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  B-17E "Buzz King" Serial Number 41-9124  
USAAF
13th AF
11th BG
98th BS

Click For Enlargement
c1942-1943
Click For Enlargement
c1942-1943

Aircraft History
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Delivered to the U. S. Army. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 13th Air Force, 11th Bombardment Group, 98th Bombardment Squadron. Nicknamed "Buzz King". This bomber was field modified with twin 50 caliber machine guns in the radio compartment.

During 1942, this B-17 flew at least twelve bombing missions (or more) and was photographed at 13th Air Depot at Tontouta Airfield on New Caledonia. At that time, the scoreboard included ten Japanese flags indicating claims by the gunners of enemy fighters, three ship silhouettes (merchant type 11-14-42, warship no date, merchant type 10-15-42 or 11-15-42) and twelve bombs markings indicating missions flown (9-14-42, 9-19-42, 9-21-42, 9-25-42, 10-11-42, 10-13-42, 11-12-42, 11-15-42 or could be 11-18-42) plus four undated bombs.

Wartime History
On March 16, 1943 took off from Henderson Field piloted by Captain Jim Carroll, one of two B-17s that took off on a night mission against Kahilli Airfield armed with eight 500 lbs bombs and three M-26 flares.

Over the target, the bombers made four passes and experienced heavy anti-aircraft fire. Both sustained shrapnel damage but neither was seriously damaged and none of the crew hurt.

On March 23, 1943 this B-17 was parked in the northwest dispersal area at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal loaded with bombs and fuel ready for a night mission against Kahilli Airfield.

During the night, three G4M1 Bettys from the 705 Kokutai on a night bombing mission on against Henderson Field on Guadalcanal armed with 60kg and 250kg bombs. Over the target, bombed the northwest dispersal area destroyed this B-17. Also destroyed was B-17E "Zero Six Zero" 41-9060, B-24D "Flying Gator" 41-23898 plus two other B-24D Liberators and a Hudson from 3 Squadron, RNZAF.

Captain Jim Carroll wrote:
"Washing Machine Charlie was not to be denied. His bomb struck 41-9124 [this aircraft] amidship and triggered her bomb load, which ignited her fuel load. She disappeared in a magnificent swoosh! A little later, 41-9060 was hit by the nuisance bomber. The B-17 [41-9060] was blown to hell by Charlie, who dropped one along the plane which was loaded with eight 500 pounders... [the explosion left] a hole 40' wide and 30' deep - that was all. Two B-17s had disappeared in the blink of an eye."

References
Fortress Against the Sun page 325-327, 424 footnote 13
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
B-17

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